Thursday, January 29

Praising God!

This will be fairly short, but for those of you who have been praying for me and my family, I wanted to give you a short update.

My endoscopy went well today. They only found that I have esophagitis, gastritis, and a possible ulcer.

Thumbody is doing well, but still is unable to bend over. We were told that it could take up to 30 days for healing to occur.

We received a huge blessing yesterday, when Skaterboy received a huge bag of teenage clothing jus this size from I can't say enough great things about this organization. It's for anyone and everyone with things they are looking for and things they have to give away. There is one in most every city in the country. You sign up in your local area. It is a yahoo group, but one of my favorites.

Wednesday, January 28

Nana Banana... Our Weenie... Happy Birthday 2 year old!

Here is a photo I felt like sharing with you of our lovely dachshund Nana. She is 2 years old today. We are a one pet family, and she most certainly feels that she rules the roost. She is very determined and somewhat vindictive. For example, if she is kenneled for longer than she would like to be, she will walk right in front of you (after being let out to go potty) and look you straight in the eyes and pee on the rug. She insists that the sofa is the only place (her royal highness) deserves to be laying, unless it is on top of me, which is her favorite spot for some reason. Maybe she understands that we are both hormonal, and the only females, and that we must stick together. I never thought that my only daughter would be a dog, but you get what you get. It's a love/hate relationship.

Tuesday, January 27

God's Mercy and Provisions

Okay, I will be the first to admit that I haven't been a grateful servant lately. I've basically been a wreck. 2 more days until my endoscopy. Still very nervous and uneasy this time around. New doctor, different hospital, added to the fact that I haven't been feeling well lately. God has been merciful though.

Some of you may not have heard that 2 short days ago, while sledding with our church, Truthseeker and Thumbody had an accident. They hit a tree. Very scary for mom and those around them. Truthseeker supposedly was knocked out for a few seconds, and Thumbody had bit his lip, but took the brunt of the hit, as he was in front. I was at the top of the hill when the accident occurred at the bottom. Luckily some people from church were at the bottom of the hill to assist in their care, while I tried my best to carefully walk down the hill as fast as I could. I thought about grabbing another sled, but then thought that with my luck, that I would hit a tree as well. I also thought about sliding on my backside all the way down, but I had a long coat on, and thought that might make me go even slower, so I opted to walk. One of our church members pulled Thumbody on a sled back to our van, and Truthseeker insisted he wanted to stay and sled some more. It was such a long haul back to the van, in heavy boots, that I thought that I would either pass out, or throw up, by the time I got there. Luckily a dear friend was with Thumbody until I got there. Thumbody is a tough kid, and has taken many rough and tumble hits in his short 4 years, but something didn't look right when I got to the van. I chatted with my friend for a few minutes, about his condition, and decided that I would not wait for Scott to get back to the van, and that I was taking him to the ER. I told my friend to tell Scott to get Truthseeker, so we could have him checked out as well. The ER was busier than usual, and we were forced to stay in the hallway. They took x-rays of both boys, and gave Thumbody a shot of morphine to help with the pain. The doctor looked at the x-rays and said they looked okay, and sent us home. Truthseeker was back to normal shortly after returning home, but Thumbody didn't appear to be okay. I was worried something more was wrong, but I chalked it up to being a worried mom. The next morning Truthseeker had a dental appt., and on our way back from the dentist, the ER called us and told us to go straight to his pediatrician, because Thumbody needed an MRI. Apparently the radiologist had looked at the films and saw a compound fracture of the lower spine. Panic struck me as we drove to the hospital. During this time, Thumbody appeared to be a normal 4 yo. aside from complaining that his back hurt. We got into his doctor right away, and she sent us across to the hospital for the MRI. I hate their MRI machine. It's enclosed, and the last time I had an MRI I requested the other hospital in town, as they have an open one. The enclosed one felt like a coffin, and I could barely stand the banging sound, even with the headphones and music. So I wondered how they expected a 4 yo. to lay still for 30 minutes, when an adult (me) can't stand it herself. To my surprise and delight, they told me that they played cartoons for kids to watch during their MRI's, so Thumbody watched Spongebob during his MRI. He came out of it unscathed.

They called us on the way home from the MRI to say that he does have a very slight compound fracture, but most of his pain is due to swelling and bruising around the general area of the boo-boo. He is not to run or jump around for awhile, and they said that it should heal just fine.

I am so thankful to our merciful Savior for protecting my little boys in an accident that could have been much worse, or even fatal. I know that I have been rebelling lately, and trying to cope and figure things out on my own, and I know that He will provide and take care of us. I just need to trust in Him. I struggle with trust so very much. I need to just let go, and let Him do his job. Please pray for me, that I can do that. Thanks :)

Friday, January 23

My Taxes are Filed!

I am finally done, and it took all of 45 minutes to complete. Both federal and state. Now most people I know dread tax season. Scott and I love it. We always get a hefty refund, and this year (thank God, under the circumstances) our refund is $3,000 more than last year. It is a blessing during a hard time, and we plan to use it wisely, and cautiously. So in 7-10 days they both should be direct deposited into our bank account. I know our world of technology is somewhat out of control, but the joy of being able to do your own taxes online in 45 minutes and receive your refund in 1 week, is still an amazing thought to me. So blessings to you all, and hoping that you too receive a great big refund.

Wednesday, January 21

Simple Woman's Daybook - Wed., Jan. 21, 2009

Simple Woman’s Day book ~ January 21, 2009

FOR TODAY . . .Outside my window. . . Bright and sunny, but still a lot of snow on the ground. 33 degrees outside.

I am thinking. . . I am continuing to think about my health. Hoping for good news on the 29th.

I am thankful for. . . my family :) Even though right now I hear my middle child crying, my youngest child throwing a fit, and my dh trying to reason with them. I guess the Lego's are off-limits for the rest of the day. I say, thank goodness... because they are scattered about the house, and I am personally tired of the bickering about them.

From the schoolroom. . . . Lots of things planned. Skaterboy has exams in social studies and English; He has an algebra assignment to finish, and needs to continue working on his global warming project. Truthseeker has reading and phonics, math (addition), a science experiment using magnets, and social studies review for test tomorrow.

From the kitchen...Bagels and cream cheese for breakfast. No cream cheese for me (mashed avocado, instead). Potato soup and sandwiches for lunch; Dinner ???? I will have to figure something out soon. I usually like to plan my menu a week ahead of time, but this week has been totally thrown to the chickens.

I am wearing. . . Still in my pjs (oooops... I didn't say that). I am barefoot.

I am creating. . . Still wanting to finish all this stuff, but it's not getting done. I absolutely have to sew these cute little slippers for my nephew Samuel's first birthday next week. Still needing to sew the hats and mittens that were supposed to be under the tree for the kids this Christmas. Scrapbooking tomorrow morning at my dear friend Cindy's house. Yay!!!! A break!

I am going. . . to have an ultrasound at 1 p.m. because of the pain on my left side. Still need to go grocery shopping, but can't until I assess what we still have. We have our "Truth Project" small group meeting for church tonight at 7 p.m.

I am reading. . . Still reading the same books. Need to finish For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School (Child-Life Book) for our Charlotte Mason book club meeting on Jan. 22. ( Not done yet! Ugghh...) I have 1 day... Oh well, it's only 1 chapter, and I am hoping to get it read while in the waiting room at the doctor's office today.

I am hoping. . . Still no word on the job. He really didn't have the qualifications for it anyway. I just wish that he would get out of the house, and look more than he has. He's not really looking as hard as I would think that he should. He is really in my way.

I am hearing. . . the kids, and my husband having a discussion about batteries for some toy they have.

Around the house. . .Ditto... There is so much that needs to be done that I can't even begin to list where I need to start. Yes, it has gotten that bad lately. Time to dig my way out. Yesterday we made a big dent in our bedroom. I am rearranging, and moving the bed. Hopefully this gets finished today.

One of my favorite things. . . Sitting in our family room, with a roaring fire, and reading with no disturbances.

A few plans for the rest of the week. . . The hallway is still not painted, but hopefully soon, once it warms up a little. We did manage to put the storm windows on in Skaterboy's room, and in our room yesterday. Our plans this week contain finishing up our bedroom, a couple of doctor's appts. Truthseeker has a dentist appt., church activities, scrapbooking, paying bills, library, and probably more things that I am forgetting, at this moment. It's a busy week.

A photo I feel like sharing.... No photo for today, as I am on Skaterboy's laptop, and my photos are downloaded on my computer in the family room.

In the words of my dearest friend Michelle S.... "Have A Great Day!" Love ya, Chelle.

Monday, January 19

More Things Breaking.

Well, what can I say? Our used dryer we purchased for $50 a month ago, is shot. I guess you get what you pay for. Scott's truck is still in need of a new brake line, and Scott still doesn't have a job. I am still waiting for my appointment with my GI doctor. This week is busier than anything, you could ever imagine.

We have quite a bit of snow, and the kids want to go sledding. I am expected at a friend's house very shortly, and then we really need to get to the library. I still need to get groceries. My laundry is piling up again. What next? I don't think I really want the answer to that.

Scott just left to return the dryer belt to the appliance store where he bought it this morning. Something else is wrong, that he can't seem to fix. I am at a loss as well. Do I hang a clothesline in my laundry room? I guess they did that years ago. I could also hang them by the fireplace, and maybe they would dry. I guess I have a few options. Ones I don't really like, but none-the-less.

Truthseeker has a dentist appointment on Thursday for sealents, and I have an appointment on Friday for a sinus infection (I think?) We also have playgroup on Friday. I think we will be a little late. Oh, and Thursday morning I am scrapbooking with a friend. We had school during the public school's snow days last week, so I figure I can take a mental health day, and call off school. Of course in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., we don't have school today.

I guess I better get off the computer, and assess the dryer situation a bit better. Life goes on.

Friday, January 16

On a more positive note...

I need to apologize for the negative tone that my blog has presented the last few days. It's been a rough past few months, and I don't see it getting much better, any time soon. It's not my intention to have people read my blog, and feel bad, therefore I have decided to delete some portions of my blog, that may be reflected as negative, no matter how true they may be. The fact is that no body's life is perfect, and I was simply feeling sorry for myself, and the situations at hand. I thought that if I honestly revealed some of my true thoughts that were floating around in my head, that I would feel better, and somehow work these things out. The thing is, that I can't work these things out. They are what they are. There are things that need to be done to correct some of the problems that I am facing, but right now I'm not sure what I need to do first. Hopefully God will reveal that to me soon. I thought that if I put him central in my life, that everything would be fine. It's supposed to be fine, but it's not fine, and I honestly haven't been putting him first or central in my life lately.

I went to my GI appointment on Monday, and nothing has really been revealed yet, but I suspect that there is something seriously wrong with me. I recall my previous doctor saying at one point in time, that if your nails start looking rigged, then you have a problem. My nails have been rigged for awhile now. Not too bad, but none the less, they are indeed rigged, especially my thumb nails. I do suspect what the doctor will reveal to me on the 29th when I have my upper endoscopy scheduled. I am just hoping that it isn't too bad yet. I know that I am only speculating, and that I don't know yet what is going on inside me, but I know that I am not feeling healthy, and that honestly scares me.

I haven't taken good care of myself for about 10 years. I used to, but time and taking care of other people and stuff, got in the way. I forgot about taking care of myself. I simply forgot. I just hope it's not too late.

Simple Woman’s Day book ~ January 15, 2009


Outside my window. . . Bright and sunny, but bitter cold. 10 degrees outside right now. Public schools were closed today, however our home school was open. We have about 5 inches of snow.

I am thinking. . . about my health, and how I need to get back on course. Not sure where to start right now, but I know that I need some insight as to where to begin. Hopefully that will be revealed to me soon; about my Mom, who is in Seattle, WA right now for my great Uncle Harold's funeral. He was my Godfather.

I am thankful for. . . My BIL's safe return home from Iraq; my family; and my home.

From the schoolroom. . . Reading and phonics lessons, math assessment, computer work, and social studies for Truthseeker; No lessons for Skaterboy, because he completed all of today's lessons yesterday; playdoh fun with Thumbody.

From the kitchen. ... Pancakes for breakfast; grilled cheese and applesauce for lunch; and soup and sandwich for dinner. Scott is taking Skaterboy to a church retreat this afternoon, and won't be home, so it's just the little boys and I, for dinner tonight.

I am wearing. . . burgundy velour pants, and black tee top. I am barefoot.

I am creating. . . Still hat's and mittens. Still working on my Christmas scrapbook. I completed 10 pages at the retreat last weekend. Hopefully I will get a chance this evening to work some more on it. Still have lots of mending and sewing projects that need finishing, as well.

I am going. . . No where. Scott and Skaterboy are leaving for Northern Illinois at 5:30 (he is driving the Van Hook's 12 passenger van up there) along with the rest of the youth from our church. Truthseeker is outside playing with a neighbor friend.

I am reading. . . Still reading the same books. Need to finish For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School (Child-Life Book) for our Charlotte Mason book club meeting on Jan. 22.

I am hoping. . . Scott gets this job he interviewed for yesterday, and that nothing is found in my endoscopy on the 29th. I am also hoping that I can take some steps toward making Christ central in my life again, and transforming my life into the one he has planned for me.

I am hearing. . . the washer, dryer, and dishwasher.

Around the house. . . There is so much that needs to be done that I can't even begin to list where I need to start. Yes, it has gotten that bad lately. Time to dig my way out.

One of my favorite things. . . Sipping tea, and reading some of my favorite blogs.

A few plans for the rest of the week. . . Not too much this weekend. Grocery shopping tomorrow morning; cleaning house, and organizing tomorrow; painting hallway tomorrow (hopefully); and church Sunday. I haven't thought about next week yet. I guess I should.

A photo I feel like sharing.... This is a picture that Skaterboy took of himself. He is changing daily into quite a nice looking man. All those cute little childhood features are fading away, and in it's place are the defining features of a soon-to-be young man.

Sunday, January 11

The Solid Rock, and Oprah

I know there are a lot of you out there that are HUGE fans of Oprah Winfrey. I have watched many episodes of her show over the years, and do feel that some of her shows are of great value to many people, especially women.

What I am about to say, some of you might not like, but since not very many people read my blog anyway, I'm not overly worried about it. This past week, she televised a week long special called "Your Best Life Week", and I indeed watched most of the shows this week. The one I was most looking forward to watching was the one on spiritualism.

The day her show on spiritualism aired, I was in the ER waiting to find out what they were going to do about my Beret's esophagus. I sat and listened to what each of the spiritual leaders on her show had to say, and those that called in were asking her. I noticed that neither one of the ministers on her show once mentioned Jesus Christ, or a personal relationship with Him. Neither one of them referred to Jesus as being the key to our salvation, happiness, or contentment in life. I believe that Oprah keeps having these "your best life" shows because she has not yet found the key to happiness and contentment, and I personally believe she is missing the biggest key, which is a life that you can only have through Christ Jesus.

Half way through the show, I turned it off, because of something that was said after a caller had asked a question. The man was gay, and was seeking advice on happiness and contentment. He was clearly unable to find this in his life, and was seeking direction. What I heard was astounding. One of the ministers, if that in fact was what he really was, stated that being "gay" was a blessing and a gift from God. My jaw dropped, and then the other minister said that as a gay man, he was the reflection of the true God. And the other minister agreed with him.

Now, I am not a homophobe. I have had a few acquaintances over the years that have been gay, but clearly they understood that being gay was a sin. Being gay is not something you are born with. This is what the world says, not God. God says that homosexuality is an abomination. It is nothing other than a sin. People will argue that studies have been done, bla...bla...bla..., however these studies are being done by people in this world. The bible is God's word and was given by Him to us, bottom line. There are too many people in this world taking bits and pieces of bible scripture, and putting their own opinions on it, verses reading it how it was intended, in it's Holy and Complete state. Have you heard of the song, "On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other Ground is Sinking Sand"? Well the Bible is our Solid Rock. If we as human beings don't stand on that solid rock of God's Word, then we will sink. Thus never find happiness, or contentment in our lives. If you follow the world's distorted view, which by the way have made their way into churches, and corruption is forming with in the Christian religion. We have to be very careful about what we believe and hold tight to that belief. Stand up for what you believe, not the liberal condescending views of people that believe that the bible is a collection of stories, and not a foundation for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. These people that are taking bits and pieces from our Sacred Holy Bible and twisting them are no better than the Pharisees. They are doing this in order to make themselves feel better about the sins they have committed, and continue to commit. Unfortunately one sin escalated in to numerous sins when a single sinner forms a "so called" Christian group and invites other sinners in to their distorted plan. Is that glorifying God? My opinion is "NO". What I am referring to is this "new found" group of churches that promote homosexuality, stating that it is okay, and even "a blessing" from God. Yes, we are all sinners, and no sin is considered worse in God's eyes than another, however when true Christians get together and confess their sins, they are glorifying God. When a group of individuals who are all committing the same sin, but ignoring the fact that they are sinning, and therefore do not confess their sins, they are definitely not glorifying God.

So you see, I shut off the television set immediately after I heard that particular segment. Clearly they are not true Christians, and I seriously wonder about Oprah, as well. She has a lot of good ideas, however she is promoting the world's views, which are distorted and wrong. The sad thing is that she is watched by millions of people around the world, and they believe what she is saying. How sad that it can't be truth. How sad for her that she will some day have to stand judgement before our Lord for her actions and opinions.

Thursday, January 8

Hopes and Fears

I am not sure how to start this post, as I am fearful of what I am going to have to reveal to you here. Sometimes I find that I am fearful of life, and fearful of death. The unexpected really scares the pee out of me.

Since Christmas I have been feeling the all too familiar feeling in my throat that I get when my Beret's Esophagus starts acting up. It's a tightness in my throat that makes it hard to swallow and (feels) like I can't breathe. I put feels in parenthesis because I can breathe, but it just feels like I can't. It feels like I have a huge rubber band around my neck, constricting my airways, and making it hard to function normally. To top that off, it always gives me terrible migraines, and really puts me in a bad mood.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling worse than ever. So bad in fact, that I called my doctor. My GP, mind you. I have to tell you what the dumb receptionist said, because I can not for the life of me understand what this world is coming to, when it comes to our young adults today.

I told the receptionist what my problem was, and that I needed to make an appointment. She then asked me how to spell Beret's. Fine question, not many people have heard of the disorder. Then proceeded to ask me how to spell esophagus. I said to her, "you don't know how to spell esophagus?" It's phonetic. She said, "I'm sorry, I'm just a receptionist." I thought to myself, yes you are, but you work in a doctor's office, and the esophagus is part of the human body, therefore you should know how to spell this. Then she said, "Can you spell it for me?" I did, but the teacher in me so badly wanted to tell her to LOOK IT UP!

Well, the doctor was busy, and I was feeling really bad at this time, so I called a gastro clinic in town. I am not a patient there, and our insurance states we need a referral from a GP to get an appointment there. Of course they knew how to spell "esophagus" and told me to go to the ER. So Scott took me to the ER and we sat there for 6 hours. I told them exactly what my problem was and that I needed my esophagus dilated. Before too long, a RNP came in and told me they wanted to do a neck x-ray. I have had these before, and they always reveal nothing. Why? because the problem is in my esophagus (on the inside) not the outside. But I decided to be a cooperative patient, and did as I was told. As I knew it would, the x-ray came out normal. Then the RNP came in and swabbed my throat for Strep. I don't have Strep, I know I don't have it, as I have had it many times in my life, and know what that feels like. This was not it, I again told her it was my Beret's that was bothering me. I waited 3 more hours, but in the meantime Scott and I decided to watch some mindless TV since there was nothing else to do. I never watch the show, "YES DEAR", but we decided to watch it yesterday. The main character in the show kept blaming God for everything was going wrong in his life. He lost his job, his house had toxic mold, and then termites on top of that. He had to live with his BIL who he didn't like. Everything was going wrong for him, and he was angry at God for everything going wrong. Boy, didn't that sound familiar. That was exactly what I have been doing lately. Saying "what next, God", "what next?"
Blaming Him for everything that is going wrong in our lives right now. It looked so ridiculous on the TV, and I realized for the first time how ridiculous I have become doing the very same thing. That was definitely a wake up call.

So back to the ER visit. After we had been there for 6 hours (I am not exaggerating), we got there at 11 a.m. and left around 5 p.m. It was almost a total waste of time. I will tell you in a minute why I feel it was almost a total waste of time. At about 5 p.m. the RNP comes back in and tells me that they are going to send me home and set me up with an appointment with an ENT doctor. I had enough of them not listening to me. I said to her, "Why am I being referred to an ENT doctor when I need to see a Gastroentologist?" She said, "Well, you said that your throat hurt." I then replied, " I said that my throat hurt due to my Beret's Esophagus. I need to see a gastroentologist so he can do an endoscopy and open my throat up. Your throat closes when you have Beret's." Thoroughly embarrassed she left the room, and sent a nurse back in to tell me that I was scheduled with a gastro doctor this morning at 9:45 a.m. At 7 p.m. last night, after we were home, I turned my cell phone back on (it was off, due to the ER visit) and there was a message left at 4:45 from the gastro office saying that my appointment was moved to Monday at 1 p.m. We were still at the hospital at 4:45. Go figure...

I guess my biggest fear through all of this is that I have needed to go back to the gastro doctor for a recall endoscopy since July. I knew it, and I never went. I vaguely recall my last gastro doctor telling me a couple years ago after my last endoscopy that there was an area of concern on my esophagus, but it wasn't cancer, and that he would keep an eye on it. Well, since then our insurance has changed, and I was forced to find another gastro doctor, which I didn't until now. So, I am 6 months late for my gastro visit, and am a bit worried. My Beret's has never lasted this long before, nor has it ever been this bad before. The other thing that worries me is that the postcard I got from my old gastro doctor says that it was the 2nd notice he sent out regarding the recall endoscopy. Why does it say that, as I don't remember getting a postcard reminder before that. Was I supposed to see him at 1 year? I can't remember. I am sick with worry that I may have esophageal cancer, even though it is rare in Beret's cases. So you see, I am very scared.

Last night after we got home, I watched the special with Barbara Walters about Patrick Swayze's pancreatic cancer. Scott's dad died of the disease a year and a half ago. He was so upbeat about his condition, although I could see the same tell-tale signs Scott's dad had, that he was clearly dying. He was upbeat though, and refused to believe that his time was up.

I know that none of us know when our time will be up. I am hoping that I have plenty of time left to see my children grow up, and get to see my grandchildren, and great grandchildren. I have so much I want to do yet. I am not ready to leave this earth yet. I am scared that I waited too long, and for no good reason, other than I forgot about taking care of myself, because I was taking care of other people in my life.

All week I have been watching Oprah. I am not really an Oprah fan, because I feel she has some really screwed up views on Spirituality. I do like it when she has the medical doctors on, but her show yesterday, made me turn the channel. I will tell you more about that tomorrow.

Please pray for me, that I have not waited to long; that Scott finds a good job soon; and that nothing else breaks for quite awhile. Scott's truck is now in need of new brake line on his truck, which we cannot afford right now. It's always something, isn't it. But, I will no longer blame God for letting all these things happen. At least I learned something yesterday.

Tuesday, January 6

Better still...

Whew... Today is much better than the last few days I've had. I won't lie and say that there are not some things that are bothering me right now, but at least I'm okay with the situation for right now.

God has revealed to me some things that He wanted me to understand. A lot of spiritual things actually, and I can breathe again.

Our first day back at school went quite well, and the kids actually accomplished quite a bit. Hopefully this consistency will continue until the end of school this year. We still have a lot of information to cover before then. It's going to be a challenge, but one I hope through God's help I can complete.

Skaterboy's attitude was much better today. Way better than the past few days anyway. He did his schoolwork as diligently as any teenager, and was allowed to go to a friends house afterward.

Scott has been filling his time with projects around the house, and helping me clean and such. I am truly enjoying his being home, but I would be lying if I said that I am not at all worried about his finding a job.

It's such a sticky situation. I am wondering if they offer help in finding employment to people who once had and IEP when they were in school? For those of you who don't know what an IEP is, it's a Individual Education Plan. Scott was in special classes all through school, and was diagnosed as a child with very mild mental retardation. Most people don't notice it, but I am able to notice it. It's really more of an annoyance to me, but it certainly makes things more difficult around here.

I guess my biggest fears are that no one will hire him. You see, every job he has ever had in his life, he knew someone working there, and that is why he was hired. Word of mouth from other people. Don't get me wrong, Scott is an extremely hard worker. He can be a work-a-holic. He will stay at any job until it gets done. When he has a job he sticks with it. He has worked a total of 4 jobs since I met him, and has never been fired. He has wonderful recommendation letters from former employers and co-workers, however the world tends to judge people by their appearances, and not by their job skills a lot of times. I'm not saying that my husband is ugly. I think he is very attractive, in so many ways, but even well-meaning family members have said things to me about his appearance, that were just plain rude and hurtful, to tell you the truth. Of course they don't say it to his face, but behind his back to me, later on. If only they knew the type of person he really is. He does have a good heart, and is truly generous in most circumstances. I bit too generous sometimes, and too trusting. He is an easy target for people to take advantage, pick on.

I have to be honest and say that I am not always patient with him. In fact, I usually get frustrated with him at least once every day. I know it's not his fault, but a lot of times I feel like I have to be the one parenting everybody in our home. Let me tell you, it's exhausting. It makes me sad too, that I won't ever have a meaningful relationship with him, like other married couple's have. I think that is why I am having so much difficulty reading the book, "Created to Be his Help Meet". I don't think he is capable of being the head of our household. I'm not saying this to be mean. I seriously don't think it's possible, and it makes me so very sad, because I want him to be.

It's embarrassing telling everyone we know about his problems because I don't want to embarrass him, or have them act differently around him. I wonder how noticeable it really is to others, or if I am noticing it more because I know him the best.

I know in my heart that God wants the best for our family. I'm scared though. I know I need to trust Him, and maybe that's why He's been testing me so often lately. I haven't been very trusting in Him, and He has never failed me. He has always been consistent in his promises in my life. So why am I having difficulty trusting in Him?

I guess I will have to wait for Him to reveal that answer to me as well. Until then I must faithfully wait.

Monday, January 5

The "JOY" in today

Oh boy, if I say that this weekend was completely awful, I am not making an understatement. If I could have run away yesterday, I surely would have. If I am being honest here, I will say that I waited until Saturday night to complete my lesson plans for Sunday school yesterday. I haven't spent as much time preparing and praying, like I had intended to, when taking on this commitment to the church.

Skaterboy has been staying up way too late lately, texting this girl he likes until all hours, and doing things he really shouldn't be doing. I've been lazy, and over their 2 week school break, I have selfishly been doing the things I wanted to do, instead of paying much attention to him. Thus the whole rebellious attitude, and heir of entitlement that he feels is justified.

Yesterday morning, we all woke up for church, except Skaterboy, who was complaining (once again) that he didn't feel good, and didn't want to go to church. We continually prompted and persuaded (yelled) at him to get out of bed, to no avail. He continued to mouth off, and at one point told me to go to H... Yes, very nice, don't you think? Then (for the 3rd time) this month, he said he was leaving. Where he thought he was going to go, I am unsure, but in the 3 weeks he has been 16, he has been absolutely unbearable. Worst attitude and language I have heard in his whole life. I don't know if when he turned 16 he felt he was entitled to act and talk like an adult (to which I must add, that on a small occasional basis, these words to get said in our home, by Scott and I in the heat of anger.... to which I am not at all proud). At any rate, they are not words that are heard every day, or every month even, and they most definitely come out of my husband's mouth more than they come out of mine.

So, being that we were almost late for Church and I had to teach class, we left without him. I was so agitated in the van on the way to church, that I snapped at my husband, who retaliated, by snapping back. Boy oh boy, wasn't Satan happy. When we got to church, my husband had tears in his eyes, and I silently walked into my Sunday school class, in which two of my own children (who were also in the van) are my students. How do you go from screaming, yelling mom 2 minutes before to sweet and happy teacher once inside? I can't answer that question, but I did it. After Sunday school, Scott and I, with our anger subsided, sat through the church service happily, just like one happy little family. The sermon yesterday was all about salvation, and what true salvation really means, and how it changes us, and how some people claim that they have salvation, but really don't. So I got to thinking, am I really saved? Well, yes, my answer was yes, I do believe that I am truly saved, with all my flaws and everything. I do believe that Scott is also saved, with all his flaws and everything. Now I got to thinking about our 16 year old, who was baptized 2 years ago, and I wondered whether he was saved or not. My answer reflected what I had felt in my heart for a long time, but had not allowed myself to accept. I didn't think he really was. Was it my fault? What was I doing wrong? Well, a lot of things. You see, I have been told by my parents that I am a very strict parent, so I in turn thought that I was indeed a very strict parent. I don't let my kids run around outside without supervision; I don't let them go every place they want, and with friends we don't know well. We have rules at home (to which I am not always consistent) but there are rules, and they get disciplined if they need it. So all in all, I thought I was a strict parent. Maybe even too strict, at times.

After church, I started talking to our minister about our problems with Skaterboy that morning, and my concerns about his salvation, and well pretty much everything I typed above, except for the swearing parts... He doesn't need to know that. Anyway, he said that he thought we were not strict enough with our children. This took me by surprise, because I thought we were. Then he said something profound. This may not be his exact words, but this is what I got out of what he said. Something I had not thought of. We have been putting so many restrictions on our kids regarding their outside involvement, that we have completely forgotten about limiting the things they are doing inside our home. Our family unit was being destroyed piece by piece, mainly by our teenager. Now, it's easy to place all of the blame on him, but that would not be truthful. Most of it is my fault. It's hard to admit, but it's true. Our minister said that it's easy for people to come to church every Sunday and present themselves as the "perfect happy family" when in fact on the inside they are dying inside with anger, hate, and unforgiveness. Boy oh boy, when God wants the truth revealed, he isn't always sweet about it. Then our minister prayed with Scott and I that we could find peace in this time of turmoil, and that he would reveal a better way for us.

I have to say it helped. When we got home from church, it got really ugly (which I knew it would) with Skaterboy. He was still laying in bed when we got home, and first of all, we took his cell phone to which he didn't give to us until after I told him that it didn't matter if he gave it to us because we would simply suspend his line (if I told you why we took his cell phone, you would be completely and utterly shocked, as I was) and told him that we would be limiting his use to his Xbox, and his laptop. Then he came unglued, and shouted at me that because he bought the Xbox himself, that it was against the law for me to take it, that it was stealing. Honestly, I didn't know the answer to that, although I suspected he was wrong. So I called the sheriff's dept. and asked them. Skaterboy was shocked that I actually called, he didn't believe me that I would. The deputy told me that I had every right to take away anything that belonged to him, and went as far as to say that if I wanted to throw the Xbox against the wall and smash it, as long as I didn't hit him with it, that I was perfectly just in doing so. He also said that I could prevent him from getting his driver's license, and after he has his license, that I can call the secretary of state and have it revoked, if he decides he won't obey our rules. When everything that the deputy said was revealed to Skaterboy, he changed his tune, and decided to listen to what we had to say.

The intention was not to take away everything he owned, but to place limits on everything, not only for him, but for the whole family, myself included. We are all very distracted by electronic devices in our home. The TV, video game systems, the laptop, cell phones, etc. Our family unit is crumbling. We all need structure. Consistent structure.

This morning we all sat down and created agreed upon time limits for everyone regarding the electronic toys in our home. It's been working so far, and we have managed to spend a lot more time together doing stuff, then in the past. It's going to be tough to be consistent. I knew this going into it, but I trust that this is God's plan, so I will work hard to try to do my part. Everyone is now planning on a board game to play after dinner. Of course I am recording John and Kate plus 8 on the DVR. I will watch it later, after the kids are in bed.

Saturday, January 3

Feeling Better About Today

This is going to be short because I am tired, and need to go to bed for church in the morning. Yesterday was a bad day. Maybe it's not such a good idea to put all your inner-most thoughts on your blog where anyone and everyone can read them. Not that anyone does, mind you.

I started typing all my frustrations down and decided to delete them, because it might hurt those that I love most. I go through this every once in awhile when I feel overwhelmed, and simply exhausted.

The problem is that I don't speak up. I just let people say what they will, and hurtful things at that, and just let them think what they think, without them really knowing the truth.

My MIL made a comment in the grocery store today, that was extremely rude and hurtful. Probably because I decided to shop at Wal-mart, and not Aldi, where she wanted to go. She can't drive, I was taking her shopping, and told her I would take her to Aldi after Wal-mart. Uggghhh... Anyway, we met a friend we hadn't seen in some time, and we were talking, and she got on this tangent about how some women (referring to me, of course) spend too much of their husband's money, and that men tend to be better money managers. But then proceeded to comment that she was a great money manager because she learned from my late-FIL who was the best money manager ever. (I am rolling my eyes at this comment) because when he died, she didn't know where anything was, nor did she even know how to pay the bills, or write checks. That was why my husband had to be put on her checking account to help her. And no sooner had he died, when she decided to give their house back to the bank because she no longer felt that she could afford it, so instead of continuing to make payments on her home, she didn't make any payments for 7 months until she was deep in foreclosure. She never even called her bank to tell them that she had moved out of the house. Yeah, she's some money manager. And how rude to say that to someone who has taken part of her day to take her grocery shopping. I just wanted to slap her and tell her what I thought. But I just smiled and told her that I preferred to shop alone because it was too distracting to shop with other people, and that I would meet her when I checked out.

Why can't I tell people what I think? I have never been able to do this. It's so frustrating! Oh and by the way, I only spent $130 on groceries today for 2 weeks (and a family of 5, I might add) Spent too much money, my butt. Plus it's easy to say that you are a good money manager when you bring in $4300 a month, and have only yourself and 2 others to feed. What I think is wrong is taking two mentally disabled men's complete social security checks for yourself, and then getting your late husband's pension, and his social security, and saying that you are broke all the time, and that you may have to move in with your son and daughter-in-law, who bring in $1600 a month for a family of 5. Please God don't ever let it come to that. I will lose my mind! She'd probably poison me anyway, as I totally think she's jealous of me, and wishes her son was her husband. Seriously.

And you thought your family problems were interesting.

Please don't think that I am a hateful person for typing this. I really am not a mean person. I try to forget all the mean things people have said and done to me in the past, but I am totally afraid of confrontation. I avoid it at all cost. It's not even that I am holier than thou and turn the other cheek like Christ wants us to. If I was like that, I wouldn't have typed all this on my blog. I am a sinner like you all, but why do I have to be put here dealing with all this junk. Why can't I let it go, like some people say? I think maybe it's because it's left unresolved.

I feel like a lot of things in my life are unresolved. I guess only God knows how I can't resolve them effectively. Lord, please help me in this area of my life.

Friday, January 2

Journal date ... Jan. 2, 2009

Why is it that I struggle with so many things? Mainly spiritual issues. I think that people don't like me, and I can't figure out why. I like me, I think my motives and what I believe in is always true and genuine. I try so hard to do what's right, but feel like everyone in this world is fighting against what's right. I feel like they are resigned to thinking that nothing is a big deal anymore. Unacceptable things are now acceptable. My own son is reigned to this type of thinking, and it scares me. I question myself constantly about the parenting decisions I have made, but in my heart I feel like God is telling me I am handling the situation right. I do admit to the fact that I lose my patience quite often, when my family doesn't agree with me, which I know is a sin. I know I rebel against God, many times. I can be on the lazy side when I am feeling overwhelmed and feeling like my life is like a puzzle with the pieces all mixed up in a pile. With me left trying to figure out or systematically prioritize what piece goes first, second, third... Some days I just retreat to my escape mechanisms and go read a book, watch mindless TV, or get on the computer, Which serves no great purpose for my family or myself.

The worst part is that I can't find anyone to relate to. I am very lonely. It seems that most of my friends have problems that are much bigger than my own, and more time is spent talking about their problems and mine don't ever come to the surface. Either that or they don't seem to understand that I have any problems at all. Believe me, I have huge ones.

I can't even talk to my mom or sisters about these things because all they do is empathize, and have not answers for me. Mainly because they are in the same boat I am in, and are dealing with much the same issues I struggle with. I am not looking for empathy, but looking for someone to systematically help me get out of this slump that I pretend doesn't exist, when I am around other people.

Simple Journaling Jan. 1 and 2, 2009

This year I have decided to be completely honest about my feelings on this blog. This may turn some people off, but because hardly anyone reads this anyway, I thought I would start using my blog as a journal, and possible learn something in the process. Some things I type may not be pretty, but they are my pure and honest thoughts, feelings, and strongholds that control my life.

Jan. 1, 2009

Happy New Year Self! I am pondering the past year, and my life in general at this moment and wondering why it has taken me so very long to learn some things that others it takes no time at all really, to learn. At a much younger age anyway.

For instance, why has it taken me so long to learn the importance of my children's individuality? To look at them as individual human beings with ideas and opinions of their own, not just mine for the molding. I have wasted so much precious time and missed so much of their delightful lives. Skaterboy has 3 more years left with me and I sometimes feel like I have missed so much of his growing up.

Also, it has taken me so long to learn to prioritize and keep a schedule. I never really heard of the principle, " If it doesn't help me grow spiritually, or the whole family can't do it, it's not necessary", until recently. If I had heard it a few years back, I might not have wasted so much time. Would I have learned something from it, back then?

The quote in my compendium journal today reads:

"Change occurs when one becomes what she is, not when she tries to become what she is not." Ruth P. Freedman

So, what do I know for sure about myself, that I am definitely not?

1. A great housekeeper/organizer.
2. A wonderfully outgoing people person.
3. A well educated teacher.
4. An extremely patient wife/mother.
5. A great money manager.

What I most certainly know I am:

1. A great and loyal friend who never h as an agenda attached to the friendship.
2. A very strong person when it comes to major catastrophes, but not so good at handling the minor stuff.
3. A faithful and loyal wife, who loves her husband more than herself, even though I don't show it, all the time.
4. A mother who wants to be completely involved in her children's lives, so that someday when they look back, they will say that they had a wonderful childhood.
5. A person who loves a clean and organized home, but has digressed to the fact that when people live in a house all day, it will be a rare occasion that I will be able to delight in this reality.
6. A person who loves teaching and reading to the kids. It brings me so much joy and peace to know that they are home with me.